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Jan 12 2006
SuperPages Extends Distribution to MSN Local
I got word today from Verizon that SuperPages advertisers (horizontal links across the top) will appear in MSN local search results. This is an extension of Verizon�s existing relationship with MSN, which provides the listings for MSN Yellow Pages. Verizon has been working aggressively to expand its network, as have other online Yellow Pages publishers.

Also very recently YellowPages.com announced an expanded distribution relationship with Yahoo! very much like this.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog , Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Greg Sterling at  13:36 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Jan 10 2006
Spin-Offs No Sure Bet to Unlocking Value
BusinessWeek has an interesting take on the benefits of spin-offs, which is apropos given the likelihood that Verizon will go the spin-off route with its Information Services directory publishing unit.


A BusinessWeek study conducted by Dealogic found that � ...the six big companies that announced spin-offs in 2005 and completed them by the first week of 2006 saw no big run-up in shareholder value as a result.� The magazine found that the six companies (American Express, Dean Foods, Fortune Brands, Viacom (VIA ), Liberty Media and Clear Channel Communications) generated the same 3 percent return as the S&P 500.

One reason given for the disappointing results was that these spin-offs may have been perceived as �financial engineering� rather than strategic responses to threats from the Internet. Will this issue haunt Verizon? Probably not, since one of its objectives is to raise money to further its investment in building a digital network. Also, the balance of experience suggests directory organizations fare better as stand-alones than under the ownership of telecoms, particularly those with strategic objectives well beyond owning the local telephone exchange.

Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  14:39 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Jan 6 2006
YPC in Tight with Yahoo!
YellowPages.com announced today it has entered a distribution agreement with Yahoo! that covers both Yahoo! Yellow Pages and Yahoo! Local. You can read the press release here. We will cover the deal in more detail in next week�s Local Media Journal, but here are a few highlights gleaned from a discussion yesterday with YPC chief Charles Stubbs.

The deal essentially consolidates existing agreements between Yahoo and both AT&T Yellow Pages (ex-SBC) and BellSouth A&P. Stubbs notes that the new deal is considerably expanded in several respects, including:

  • The new agreement includes Yahoo! Local in addition to Yahoo! Yellow Pages

  • Under the new agreement, YellowPages.com handles national sales (through CMRs) for Yahoo! Yellow Pages and Yahoo! Local.

  • The new deal exposes all advertisers to Yahoo! YP & Local traffic, where the previous relationship with AT&T had limitations.


Look for more coverage next week.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog , Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  09:08 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Jan 5 2006
Small but Venerable Independent Sells to YB
Clarke Directory Publishers, an established and well-regarded niche independent publisher operating in Southern California, apparently has decided the time is right to cash in. Yellow Book issued a press release today saying it has acquired Clarke for an undisclosed sum. Clarke was established in 1950 and produces four directories with distribution topping 800,000.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  16:09 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Jan 4 2006
Syndicated Data to Be Unveiled in January
The U.S. Yellow Pages industry is set to see its first batch of syndicated usage data in a number of years. Later this month, according to a press release issued today by SRI/Knowledge Networks, 2005 usage data for 45 U.S. markets will be released. The data is being branded the Yellow Pages Market Reporter.

According to KN/SRI, 10 directory publishers participated in the study in 2005, and so far 12 certified marketing representative companies have signed up to receive the data.


While 10 publishers doesn�t sound like many, the 10 that are participating account for the lion�s share of U.S. directory revenue.

TKG has watched the process unfold of rekindling syndicated usage research. The process has been difficult due to complex methodology issues and conflicting interests among the participants. TKG applauds this development and acknowledges the hard work required to take this initiative this far. The next challenges include keeping the process together for the long haul and adding the participation of more publishers. But for now it is worthwhile noting that the initiative has achieved at least initial success.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  13:14 | permalink | comments [1] | trackbacks [0]



Dec 31 2005
Happy New Year!
. . . from all of us at The Kelsey Group.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog , Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Greg Sterling at  23:10 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Dec 16 2005
Sensis Exports a Strategy to Europe, Beyond
Spoke yesterday with Robert Rath at Sensis about a range of issues. One was to learn more about Platefood, a London-based joint venture that is majority owned by Sensis. The other partners are Norway-based Fast Search & Transfer and Schibsted, one of Norway's biggest media companies. Platefood's mission is to take the search platform developed in Australia and export it abroad. One thing that clearly emerged from the discussion is that Sensis is exporting a strategy, or the tools to execute a strategy, as much as it is exporting technology.

What Sensis is arguing is that publishers should not hand over the billing relationship with the customer -- ever. And no publisher should train users to go elsewhere to find local businesses. Yet building the index and PFP engine are not core to the value publishers bring, nor are they assets that any publisher wants to be over-dependent on to a potential long-term competitor. Platefood is offered as a chance to retain control without making a prohibitive investment. It is an enabling platform for those who wish to follow a strategy similar to the one Sensis follows in Australia.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  15:49 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Dec 16 2005
Tellier Talks About Trader Deal
Had a discussion this morning with Marc Tellier at Yellow Pages Group about his company's acquisition of Trader Media Group, a Canadian classifieds publisher.

We will cover the whole idea of directories and classifieds in greater detail within the TKR program, but we'll share a few highlights here.

Tellier sees the deal as very closely tied to Yellow Pages, since classifieds shares many characteristics. And he sees the deal as building on the assets he cares about, the YPG brand, content and customer relationships. All other things, he says only half jokingly, can be outsourced.
Here are some highlights of what we heard from Mr. Tellier:
* The Trader deal has a lot to do with YPG's upcoming plans to launch keyword search, and in particular how it can enable brand search.
* YPG has a lot of ideas on how to merge directory and classifieds content into local vertical hybrids. Imagine a Trader publication with a vertical directory of related headings in the back pages.
* The deal gets YPG into the C2C business, something directory publishers have not been very successful at to date.
Blog: Global Yellow Pages Blog
 
posted by  Charles Laughlin at  15:46 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]





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